Wednesdays are simplicity days at SimpleProductivity blog.
When you decide to change anything, you have to be aware of what you are moving away from and also to what you are moving. Most of the time when we are trying to change something about ourselves, the knowledge of what we are moving away from is automatic: we see what we want to change as the first step to change.
However, when we are setting out to make ourselves stronger, more resilient, more flexible, more whatever, we may not have an awareness of what we need to stop doing in order to move toward our goals.
The book 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do: Take Back Your Power, Embrace Change, Face Your Fears, and Train Your Brain for Happiness and Success is a guidebook on things to avoid if you are trying to up your mental strength and resiliency.
The book, as you would expect, talks about 13 things mentally strong people don’t do. These are: they don’t waste time feeling sorry for themselves; they don’t give away their power; they don’t shy away from change; they don’t focus on things they can’t control; they don’t worry about pleasing everyone; they don’t fear taking calculated risks; they don’t dwell on the past; they don’t make the same mistakes over and over; they don’t resent other people’s success; they don’t give up after the first failure; they don’t fear alone time; they don’t feel the world owes them anything; and they don’t expect immediate results.
Each one is approached with an introductory story, the signs of the issue, the reasons why we might do it, the problems with it, and how to avoid it. Then at the end of each chapter is a “Troubleshooting and Common Traps” section, including “What’s Helpful” and “What’s Not Helpful.”
What Makes This Book Different
What makes this book different, and what I really liked about it, was that it went the extra step. Many books will tell you why, what’s wrong with something and how to avoid it. This book alone includes the extra section of troubleshooting and common traps.
The point of having a to-don’t list is to make you aware of things you shouldn’t do so you can replace them with things you should. Having the extra section at the back makes it much easier to be aware of your behavior and what can be done to mitigate any problems.
My Favorite of the 13
The one that struck me the strongest was “they don’t give away their power”. I struggled with this during the past summer, when my father’s sudden death pulled me back into the orbit of the extended family I walked away from 20 years ago. The criticism and anger over my absence spawned retribution in the form of my being written out of my father’s obituary. Around the same time I found that I could no longer tolerate the constant picking a client was doing at me, and I asked to be removed from the client site at the end of my contract, earning me a reprimand at work with comments that were demoralizing and unwarranted.
I realized that in both situations where I was wanting to be accepted and liked, had cost too high of a price. I had given away my power, and it was time to reclaim it. It was time for me to unhook how I felt about myself from my job, my clients, my employer and my extended family. I realized I had to let go of my anger and resentment, because it was only hurting me. I had to decide what was best for me…regardless of my employer, client or extended family.
I am still working on these issues, and I am using the troubleshooting section of the chapter to help me to do it.
I was very impressed by this book because it gave concrete actions that can be taken, as well as the signposts that allow you to see if you are traveling down the “don’t” path. It is going to be a biannual read for me.
Book: 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do: Take Back Your Power, Embrace Change, Face Your Fears, and Train Your Brain for Happiness and Success
Author: Amy Morin
Publisher: William Morrow
Disclosure:TLC Book Tours provided me with a free copy of the book enable me to write this review.